Sunday, November 3, 2013

Introducing the Conic Sections!

Have you ever read the Walking In Mathland Blog? Well, I love that blog and have used many and I mean MANY of their lovely lessons. Including the intro. to Conics

Essentially what happens is that first, the kids do a warmup. Since we had just finished our unit on parabolas and the kids did not do so well, I have a warm up (below) focusing on their ability to complete the square to put into vertex form and then graph parabolas. I used nearly the same paint instructions except that I felt the need for the kids to recognize that hyperbolas have two branches so I tweaked that portion of the worksheet. I also created a LEGAL SIZE paper form for the kids to stamp the cones onto. I felt like this worked a lot better plus I then was able to proudly display what looked like kindergarten art work. Lastly, then I had the Instagram bonus challenge. Always fun and it actually really lended itself well to the project which I also introduced that same day. Essentially, the kids had already started their project!

I found awesome polka dot cones! Only $1 at Walmart!

My wall was covered by the end of the day.

 Hyperbola Winner!

Parabola Winner!

Circle Winner!

Ellipse Winner! And I'm certain that you could have this found at your school as well!

Just an FYI, the pdf files that you download look normal, unlike the previews below. I made them in PDF format so that you can enjoy the fun fonts too!


  1. Hi,
    I am just starting my conics unit and I really like your acitivity pages. However I do not have a scribd account. Would you be willing to email the pdf files to me?? I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks, Sara A

    1. Sara A.

      Sorry for my delay in response. Any chance you'd still like the files? If so, just let me know what your email address is and I'd be happy to send it your way!

  2. Hi,

    I am not sure if you still check this, but I figured I would give it a try. I LOVE this lesson idea. I, too, think it is important that the students see the two branches of the hyperbola. How exactly were you able to do this using the cones? I feel like it is obvious, I am just struggling with the technicality of the students doing it. If you could share you did this, I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thank you,


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